Message from Laser Learning Awards for all Access to HE Students 2019-20 – updated 9 April 2020
QAA has released further information today: https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/news-events/support-and-information-covid-19
QAA statement is as follows:
On 3 April 2020, we announced that students who planned to complete their Access to HE course by 31 July 2020 would now receive calculated grades for all remaining assessments with submission dates after 20 March 2020.
We have been working with Access Validating Agencies (AVAs) and course providers to ensure the principles being used for the assessment of calculated grades are fair and robust. You can now find the information on what we are doing to provide you with grades in this document.
We will ensure that the distribution of grades follows a similar pattern to the grades received in previous years, so that you do not face a disadvantage as a consequence of these extraordinary circumstances.
In order to support you, we will be offering a series of webinars where QAA officers can discuss with you how grades will be calculated and answer any questions you may have. The first webinar will be on Thursday 16 April 10.30-11.30am and further dates will be available shortly from our website. Alternatively, please contact our Access to HE team at AHE@qaa.ac.uk
The full guidance on calculating grades can be found here: https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/docs/access/news-and-events-documents/access-to-he-diploma—how-to-calculate-grades-for-students-april-2020.pdf?sfvrsn=2ccfcd81_14
Announcement – 3 April 2020
It has been announced today (3 April 2020) by Department for Education (DfE) and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), regulator for Access to HE qualifications, that all students who planned to complete their Access to HE course by 31 July this year will receive calculated grades for all remaining assessments with submission dates after 20 March 2020.
The full statement is available here: https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/…/suppor…/access-to-he-students
As you will see from the statement we are working with QAA to get the process sorted and will be liaising with your centres over the coming weeks.
We will continue to update you with information as we have it and will release answers to FAQs shortly, as we know you will have lots of questions, please bear with us, as you will appreciate there is a lot of information to collate.
We hope this information will bring some relief to all students that we are working to ensure students are able to complete and progress as planned.
- Statement for providers – https://www.qaa.ac.uk/access-to-he/covid-19-support-and-information-Access/access-to-he-providers
- Statement for receiving institutions – https://www.qaa.ac.uk/access-to-he/covid-19-support-and-information-Access/access-to-he-receiving-institutions
- News item (linked on home page) – https://www.qaa.ac.uk/news-events/news/access-to-he-update-for-students-and-providers
- New support and information page in Access section – https://www.qaa.ac.uk/access-to-he/covid-19-support-and-information-Access
- Statement for students – https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/news-events/support-and-information-covid-19/access-to-he-students
- Updated message on home page – https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/
- New support and information page: https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/news-events/support-and-information-covid-19
- Updated FAQs to include the new ones: https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/contact-us/faqs/coronavirus-(covid-19)
The section below contains information and resources for students who are currently studying on an Access courses validated by Laser Learning Awards.
On this page you will find (click on bullet point to jump there):
- What’s Laser’s role in my Access Diploma Course?
- The LASER Access Facebook page
- The LASER Access student leaflet
- Case Study – what’s it like being an Access student?
- Progession Agreements & UCAS Tariff
- The LASER ’Student Guide to Referencing Skills’
- LASER Access student prizes
- How to get a replacement Access Diploma Certificate
- What to do if you have a complaint about your Access course
- Useful links to other web pages
LASER is the organisation which guarantees the quality and standards of the Access Diploma offered by the centre at which you are studying. We also issue the final Access Diploma certificates at the end of your course. In addition we support Access to HE across all of our centres which are approved to run courses by working with tutors in colleges and admissions staff in universities as well as holding events and conferences
Join our Facebook Page by searching for Laser Awards Access from inside Facebook or follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/LaserAccess/ There you can share information, queries and ideas with Access students across the region. LASER also posts weekly updates and links to online resources and news of relevance to Access students.
Click on the image to download an electronic copy of our current student leaflet. We send copies of this leaflet to all of the colleges offering LASER validated Access Diploma courses for distribution to new students. If you haven’t received one then please ask your Access tutor.
The leaflet contains a summary of the key features of a QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma.
Find out direct from a former student – Anna Morgan Case Study
LASER are proud to be working with Higher Education to develop progression agreements to enable students to be confident in making applications. We currently have confirmed agreements with Goldsmiths, University of London and The London Institute of Banking and Finance. The details of these agreements are available to download below, and we are working on developing further agreements across the South East.
Access to HE Diplomas are recognised within the UCAS Tariff and have points allocated based on your grade profile. Please click the link below to see the full tariff table based on grades achieved:
This guide has been developed by LASER to support Access students in writing essays, reports and other pieces of academic writing. It contains an introduction to using the Harvard and MHRA referencing systems as well as links to useful web resources. Your Access Diploma course may not require you to use either of these systems but it is very likely that if you go on to a university degree course to study subjects examined by essays and dissertations, you will have to get used to one of these or something similar. Follow this link to download the LASER Guide to Referencing or download the summary guide HERE
At the end of each year we run an Access prize scheme for students studying on LASER validated Access courses. We invite each college to nominate a student in each of the categories of ‘Outstanding Academic Achievement’ and ‘Outstanding Commitment to Study’. Winners and runners up receive a cash prize. The winners in each category are then entered for a national Access prize scheme where the winners receive a further cash prize and have their prizes awarded at a national event. Ask your Access tutor for more information.
We are able to offer replacement certificates and transcripts, however please bear in mind that whilst we will try and find the information for you our database is only complete from 2007 and therefore we cannot guarantee that we will be able to supply replacement certificates that were originally issued prior to this date.
There is a £25 charge for replacement certificates* – full details on the information required can be found HERE and you will need to complete the Re-issue FORM (please click to be taken to the downloadable form) and return along with the fee and proof of identity to Laser Learning Awards, The Innovation Centre, University Road, Canterbury, CT2 7FG.
*there is an additional £10 fee for overseas postage
Please note: Whilst Access to HE has been offered in a variety of forms from the 1970s, the first formal specification was introduced by QAA in 2003, prior to this results data was not centralised and Access to HE was delivered locally by colleges in collaboration with local universities and Access consortiums. No centralised records were held and all records were kept at a local level. The requirement was for records to be kept for a maximum of 7 years and all returns were paper-based until around 2006.
Prior to 2006 the qualification was awarded as a certificate, from 2006 it became a Diploma with 60 credits as standard (there was a transitional period between 2006 and 2008 to move all Access qualifications onto the new Rules of Combination). Unit grading was introduced from 2009/10 and the current specification which requires students to achieve 45 subject-specific graded credits and 15 ungraded credits, in either study skills or subject units, came into operation from September 2014.
Although LASER has a responsibility to assure the academic standards on your Access Diploma course it is the organisation providing your course to whom you should appeal or complain in the first instance. Where possible talk things through with your Access tutor or a manager at the college in order to resolve any issues. We require you to exhaust all such procedures offered by the college before we will consider an appeal or complaint.
If you have exhausted all appeals and complaints procedures within the college you can download the LASER Student Appeal/Complaints Guide to see if you have grounds to complain or appeal directly to us. Download this Student Appeals/Complaints Form to lodge a complaint or make an appeal.
If you wish to appeal against an assessment or grading decision whilst you are on the course, your college will operate a process described as a ’Student Representation’ whereby you can discuss any grades awarded and make an appeal. Please discuss this process directly with staff in the centre providing your Access to HE course.
- Access to Higher Education website
- QAA Access pages for Students: dedicated pages for Access from the external regulator
- UCAS (University & Colleges Admissions Service: the site of the organisation which processes applications to universities
- The Student Room: a free to join web forum with lots of links to resources
- Advanced Learner Loans: the official government website with full details. Or download an FAQ sheet on loans
- Directgov – Student Finance: A good starting point to find out about how to fund yourself both in higher education and on your Access Course